september 2017 • 1

Official Publication of the Montgomery County Civic Federation, inc. september • 2017

September Meeting Program | that cell phones—especially kept

of note
At-large or district County Council in a pants pocket—affect sperm
representation and 2018 Annapolis counts, erectile dysfunction, and
legislative preview are on agenda for fertility | p. 16
MCCF general meeting September 11 Next MCFF Meeting
in Rockville | p. 3 Monday, September 11, 2017, 7:45
Scenes from the Award Cel- p.m. @ the Executive Office Building
ebration | Pictures of the June 8 in Rockville. “Proposals by County
The Bad, The Very Bad, and event in Silver Spring | p. 19
The Very, Very Ugly | Dissecting State Delegation for Next Legislative
Session: Proposal by Charter Review
the 2017 zoning text amendment for Looking for Speakers for Your Commission for Restructuring County
smaller antennas on streetlight poles Civic Assn. Meetings? | MCCF’s Council At-Large Positions to District-
and at lower buildings | p. 6 Exec. Cmte. is ready to help | p. 21 Based Representation”
agenda, p. 2 • program, p. 3
Planning and Land Use Com- $5K Tax Credit for Student
mittee Report | Council public Debt | Apply by 9/15! | p. 22 Meeting Minutes
hearing on short-term rentals in Minutes from the June General Meet-
residential zones, plus update on cell ing #886 and the Executive Committee
towers in residential zones | p. 14 Like our new Facebook Page Meeting in June will be made available at
and follow us on Twitter. the September 11 meeting
Men’s Reproductive Health |
Scientific studies have shown to print, use print version Membership Application
Join or Renew Now see form
september 2017 • 2
Federation Meeting #887 About MCCF Meetings
Monday, September 11, 2017
7:45 p.m.
All monthly MCCF meetings
are open to the public. They are
Lobby Level Auditorium held on the second Monday of each The Montgomery County Civic Fed-
Executive Office Building month, September through June, at eration, Inc., is a county-wide nonprofit
educational and advocacy organization
101 Monroe Street 7:45 p.m.
founded in 1925 to serve the public interest.
Rockville, Maryland The September 11, 2017, meeting Monthly MCCF meetings are open to the
will be held in the Lobby Level Au- public (agenda and details at left).
ditorium of the Executive Office
Building at 101 Monroe Street, The Civic Federation News is published
7:45 Call to Order/Introductions Rockville, Maryland. monthly except July and August. It is
7:50 Approval of Agenda Walkers can enter by buzzing emailed to delegates, associate members,
7:51 Announcements news media, and local, state, and federal
security at the door. You can park
officials. Recipients are encouraged
7:57 Approval of Minutes, for free either in the lot at East Jef- to forward the Civic Federation
June 12 meeting #886 ferson and Monroe Streets or in the News to all association members,
7:58 Treasurer’s Report lowest level of the EOB. Drive onto friends, and neighbors. Permission is
8:00 Program: Proposals by the ramp in the front of the building granted to reproduce any article, provided
(ignore “permit parking only” sign), that proper credit is given to the “Civic
County State Delegation Federation News of the Montgomery
for Next Leg. Session p. 3 turn left at the second, lower level;
County (Md.) Civic Federation.”
use the intercom at the gate to the
9:25 Committee Reports
parking garage and at the door to the Civic Federation News
9:35 Old and New Business elevators to inform security you’re civicfednews AT
9:45 Adjournment attending the MCCF Meeting. z to submit an article, see page 22
september 2017 • 3
At-Large or District County Council Representation, 2018 Annapolis Legislative
Preview Are on Agenda for MCCF General Meeting September 11 in Rockville
Our September 11, 2017, General the County Council every four years,
Meeting focuses on possible changes within six months after the Council
in the Montgomery County Charter assumes office, for the purpose of
and a preview of the 2018 Legislative studying the Charter. The Com-
Session in Annapolis. Our guests for mission shall be composed of 11
these two important topics are Dr. members who shall be residents
Sharon T. Freeman, Vice Chair of of the County, five of whom shall
the County’s Charter Review Com- be appointed from a list of names
mission, Maryland State Senator submitted by the County Executive.
William C. Smith, Jr. (Judicial Not more than six members shall
Proceedings Committee), and Mary- be of the same political party. The
land State Delegate Marc Korman chairperson shall be designated by
(Committee on Appropriations). the Council and the vice-chairperson
The County Charter is the con- bered year with recommendations shall be designated by the County
stitutional framework for County for possible Charter revisions. These Executive. The Commission shall
Government. The County Council recommendations may lead to pro- report at least once to the Council on
appoints an 11-member, bipartisan, posed Charter amendments that are the Commission’s activities within
Charter Review Commission to study voted on by the electorate. one year after appointment of the
the County Charter. The Com- Charter Section 509 provides the Commission. Commission reports
mission must report to the County following: “There shall be a Charter shall be submitted not later than
Council in May of every even-num- Review Commission appointed by more
september 2017 • 4
Sept. Program, cont. ing. elections for Governor, Congress, the
For our 2018 Annapolis Legisla- General Assembly, County Execu-
May 1 of every even-numbered year. tive Preview, we are pleased to wel- tive and County Council, Maryland
The reports shall contain recom- come Maryland State Senator Will State representatives will consider
mendations concerning proposed Smith, Jr. (D-20) of Silver Spring, a wide range of issues important
Charter amendments, if any.” (Char. and Maryland State Delegate Marc to the State. These include educa-
Res. No. 8-935, § 1.) Please visit the Korman (D-16) of Bethesda. tion funding, health care financing,
Charter Review Commission here. Against the backdrop of primary family leave, transportation funding,
Sharon T. Freeman, Ph.D., a including a dedicated tax for Metro,
resident of Rockville, is Vice Chair- public financing of State elections,
man of the Montgomery County criminal justice reform, the Trust
Charter Review Commission. The Act, medical marijuana, the opioid
Commission has recently discussed epidemic, renewable energy issues,
different models for the composition and others. Montgomery County’s
of the Montgomery County Council, Will Smith, Jr., and Marc Korman
including all district (no at-large) will be leaders in the 2018 Legisla-
membership, fewer at-large mem- tive Session.
bers than currently, and all district In 2014, Senator William C.
members elected by countywide Smith, Jr., was elected to represent
vote. The Commission is also con- District 20 in the Maryland House
sidering proposals to modify the of Delegates. As a member of the
composition and appointment pro- Judiciary Committee, Smith served
cess for the panel that makes recom- on the criminal justice and family
mendations about council redistrict- smith more
september 2017 • 5
Sept. Program, cont. the Bethesda Urban Partnership, a
nonprofit organization which mar-
law subcommittee. Along with these kets and manages downtown Bethes-
roles, Smith was a member of several da. He has also volunteered with
key workgroups, including Justice the Action Committee for Transit to
Reinvestment, Law Enforcement Of- promote the Purple Line and other
ficers’ Bill of Rights, and Death with transit solutions to traffic, the Mont-
Dignity. gomery County Park Department to
In 2016, Smith was appointed to korman build and maintain the County’s ter-
represent District 20 in the Mary- rific network of trails, and other local
land State Senate, making him the He also serves as the Chair of the organizations. Korman was in the
first African-American Senator from Senate Veteran’s Caucus. 2013 Leadership Montgomery class.
Montgomery County. In the Senate, Marc Korman is a past chair Delegate Marc Korman was
he has worked to forge relationships of the Western Montgomery County elected to the Maryland House of
with his colleagues from across the Citizens Advisory Board, which Delegates in 2014. He was born and
state and political spectrum which advises the Montgomery County raised in Montgomery County. Kor-
has allowed him to become an ef- Executive and County Council on lo- man attended Montgomery County
fective legislator in Annapolis. As cal issues including land use, trans- Public Schools and graduated from
a member of the Senate Judicial portation, education, public safety, Richard Montgomery High School.
Proceedings Committee, Smith has and budgetary matters. Previously, In Annapolis, he sits on the Appro-
championed robust criminal justice he chaired the Citizens Advisory priations Committee as well as the
reform measures and has led efforts Board’s Public Safety and Quality Education and Economic Develop-
to provide economic and educational of Life Committee. Korman also ment Subcommittee and the Person-
opportunities for all Marylanders. served on the Board of Directors of nel Subcommittee. z
september 2017 • 6
The Bad, The Very Bad, and The Very, Very Ugly
Dissecting the 2017 ZTA for Smaller Antennas on Streetlight Poles, at Lower Buildings
By Sue Present address small cell deployment.” and clarity and is somewhat discon-
Last year, Zoning Text Amend- Initially scheduled for April, the nected from the June 14 materials
ment (ZTA) 16-05 proposed revised County held its Wireless Technol- and presentations and the compan-
standards for smaller antennas on ogy Community Meeting on June ion ZTA Summary. It is obviously
poles in the public rights-of-way. 14, 2017, at which it introduced a work in progress, so there may be
But after strong pushback from resi- plans for a new ZTA. Shortly there- forthcoming improvements. But
dents, the ZTA did not move toward after, the meeting’s slideshow was there is a lot to be concerned about.
passage. posted and, later, a 2017 ZTA that Here are some key points.
Then, early this year, the Depart- “would amend zoning rules related y It is sneaky! The County has
ment of Technology Services identi- to deployment of smaller antennas continually identified this ZTA as
fied “updating County wireless siting on streetlight poles and lower height addressing “smaller antennas on
zoning and regulations, and creation buildings,” was posted, too. streetlight poles and at lower height
of national model 5G ordinances” as The 2017 ZTA is arguably buildings.” But it actually elimi-
a top FY-18 priority. Staff reported worse, not better, than the 2016 nates the 300-foot residential
that the Department of Technology ZTA. Problems that residents raised setback for both small and
services was “working with other last year remain in the 2017 ZTA. large cell towers in residential
departments, and soliciting public The 2017 version is broader legisla- zones. The legislation expands
input, to create a CE (County Execu- tion that would eliminate or reduce the threat of large cell towers
tive) proposal to update the TFCG more resident protections and stan- being erected in close prox-
(Tower Committee) application dards. The draft that is being circu- imity to single-family homes
process and zoning requirements to lated is rough: it lacks organization more
september 2017 • 7
2017 ZTA, cont. from their current status of either tee. The affected public receives
Prohibited Uses or Conditional Uses. no notice of the applications or of
throughout the County. Addi- The 2017 ZTA again proposes the Tower Committee meeting reviews.
tionally—and contrary to the Coun- change to Limited Use status for the The Tower Committee prohibits
ty’s Summary—the ZTA expands the antenna attachments to poles in resi- members of the public from having a
various residential zones that would dential public rights-of-way and the voice in the review process—even to
be available for a large (macro) cell hardened replacement poles with point out an applicant’s errors, even
tower to be sited on an abutting new antennas/antenna enclosures to identify potential hazards.
Employment zone property, where and related equipment in public y It expands and expedites
the required property line setback rights-of-way that abut residential antenna attachment opportu-
is one-half foot for every foot of zones (though not for entirely new nities on streetlight poles. For
height. The proposed legislation poles in the rights-of-way). But, the subdivisions where the utility
should comport with the County’s in addition, the 2017 ZTA expands distribution lines are underground,
stated intent, by establishing specific Limited Use status to antennas at- the ZTA establishes an antenna on
standards and opportunities that tached to lower-height buildings or an existing streetlight pole or on
are tailored to lower height anten- on replacement poles that are on a replacement to the existing pole
nas and “microtowers” with smaller properties in residential zones or are as a Limited Use, regardless of the
antennas. in neighborhoods that abut single- setback from the abutting residential
y It changes antenna attach- family residences. property. This ZTA also increases
ments and smaller towers to Applications with Limited Use the size standards for the antennas
Limited Uses. Last year, the 2016 status receive Department of Permit- that may be attached to poles, and
ZTA proposed changing the status of ting Services (DPS) administrative it now includes some volumetric
poles and wireless antennas in the reviews after a review and recom- standards for antenna enclosures
public rights-of-way to Limited Uses mendation by the Tower Commit- more
september 2017 • 8
2017 ZTA, cont. on different poles. The replacement proximate pole location. Of course,
pole is required to be located in the this would entail construction costs
and for the related (often large) pole- approximate location as the prior and disruptions. But moving poles
attached or ground-mounted equip- pole. The new pole may be increased to the center of the roadway would
ment. in height; the particular increase in create the greater setbacks that
Streetlights need to be what the height varies with venue, with wider residents prefer, provide improved
industry calls hardened to support roads having standards for taller transmission to both sides of wider
many of the industry’s wireless an- poles. There are no size restrictions roadways that the industry seeks,
tennas and equipment. This gener- for the new pole girth/diameter. and would arguably reduce the
ally involves replacing the existing Some single-family homes along transmission distance and required
pole with one that is stronger. The wider roads are in close proximity pole height.
2017 ZTA provides standards for to the streetlight poles. Streetlights y It expands rights to antenna
these replacement poles, establish- get relocated closer to homes when attachments on low-height pri-
ing them as a type of cell tower in- the roads need to be expanded and/ vate structures and buildings in
stallation. In 2016, to avoid clutter, or pedestrian/bikeways are added. and abutting residential zones.
it was the Planning Board’s recom- One way to mitigate the threats With no off-site dwelling setback,
mendation that the County establish posed by antennas attached to poles cell towers can replace parking lot
separation distances between anten- in close proximity to dwellings could light poles on a private property that
nas attached to poles in the public be to require a replacement pole that abuts a single-family residence. To
rights-of-way. However, the 2017 abuts a single-family residence to meet Limited Use standards, the
ZTA provides no separation dis- be located parallel to the prior pole cell tower must be installed at the
tance between antennas or antenna but in the road median (or cul-de- approximate location of the pole it
enclosures in the public rights-of- sac when either of these mid-road replaces and be no more than 10 feet
way, whether on the same pole or options exist), rather than at the ap- more
september 2017 • 9
2017 ZTA, cont. sures, or their façades could give the federal Spectrum Act. According
appearance of an increase of a half to an advisory paper issued by the
greater in height than the prior pole. story or more in height. The façades County’s outside counsel that assist-
There are no size limits to the tow- could also drastically change a build- ed with the preparation of this ZTA,
er’s girth, and there are no limits on ing’s form, shape, transparency, and the Spectrum Act treats a complete
the number of antennas or antenna compatibility with the neighbor- replacement of a pole as a new (cell
enclosure attachments. hood. And, in close proximity to a tower) facility. Generally, as a result,
y It eliminates the setback single-family home, the attachments a new pole in the right-of-way may
from single-family dwellings could also obstruct a residential be modified or expanded by co-loca-
and reduces the minimum- viewshed, natural light, and access to tion. It may increase up to 10 feet in
height standards for the anten- passive solar energy. height, and antenna extensions may
nas and antenna enclosures The Zoning Ordinance lacks increase in width by six feet. On pri-
attached to buildings in or sufficient standards to require that vate property, height and extensions
adjacent to residential neigh- antennas and enclosures be un- may both increase by 20 feet.
borhoods as Limited Uses. Here obtrusively incorporated into the The Spectrum Act impacts both
again, antennas and enclosures are buildings’ architecture. Other local small and large cell towers. A 40-
permitted in unlimited numbers. governments do better, and they foot tower can increase to 60 feet;
Some attachments, such as the 4-ft. also ensure that modifications to the an 80-foot tower can increase to 100
by 4-ft. box antenna enclosures, façade take into consideration the feet. So, instead of eliminating the
could defeat the intent of the design scale, symmetry, and design of the 300-foot off-site dwelling setback,
regulations, which control bulk and structure and minimize the addition that setback should be restored to
scale to provide good aesthetics and of bulk and clutter to a building. protect residents, and it should be
community compatibility of build- y The ZTA disregards the expanded to 320 feet to accommo-
ings. A series of antennas, enclo- provisions and effects of the more
september 2017 • 10
2017 ZTA, cont. with PEPCO to place limits upon the ties that abut single-family homes.
replacement of utility pole heights And the ZTA, having eliminated
date the effects of the Spectrum Act. and to limit replacement pole height residential setbacks and expanded
y It expands opportunities to increases to one time for a change opportunities for siting and attach-
attach antennas to utility distri- in utility pole height that would be ment on properties abutting resi-
bution poles. Many utility distri- to accommodate an antenna attach- dences, arguably expands the threat
bution poles, as is the case with the ment. County materials discuss for antenna attachments to utility
aforementioned streetlights, have establishing new setbacks, too. And, poles that abut single-family homes.
been located in close proximity to though the ZTA requires the old pole y Safety Issues. This ZTA im-
single-family homes. Older public be removed within 10 days after a poses a variety of safety concerns
rights-of-way have likely experi- replacement pole is added, this is that must be addressed.
enced more modernization activities also identified as a point of discus- | Antenna attachments to poles
than have the rights-of-way in areas sion and agreement. An agreement in the public rights-of-way can and
with underground utilities. This has, with PEPCO may prove to provide have in the past caused serious and
no doubt, led to greater numbers of creative solutions. But in light of even disastrous consequences for
utility poles that have been relocated PEPCO’s lackluster compliance with communities.
in close proximity to homes. The existing agreements, some skepti- | A small child could be unsafely
2017 ZTA that authorizes antenna cism is in order. obscured from vehicular traffic and/
attachments to these poles as Lim- Experts disagree about whether or oncoming traffic could unsafely be
ited Uses threatens those homes and to what extent wireless provid- obscured from a small child’s view if
where utility poles are in close prox- ers have rights to attach antennas ground-mounted equipment would
imity. to utility poles in the utility rights- be placed at the bases of poles that
The ZTA Summary explains that of-way or easements that are within replace streetlights in the public
there is a preliminary agreement private land, including the proper- more
september 2017 • 11
2017 ZTA, cont. | Concurrent DOT legislation lic rights-of-way, and upon abutting
should require breakaway poles in private properties and neighbor-
rights-of-way. public rights-of-way and all parking hoods.
| The elimination of setbacks and lots when the weights of antenna | Public Information Access
the reductions of standards, which attachments and equipment would and Due Process. The Tower
allow antennas/enclosures on light create an impact hazard. The Coun- Committee has committed to de-
poles and low buildings on private ty should include breakaway pole veloping mapping and data tools to
properties next to single-family standards to its MOU/agreement publicly track and report applica-
homes could threaten the safety of with PEPCO, too. tions and existing facilities. It also
the neighboring residential occu- y Other Companion Measures plans to update application regula-
pants. should be addressed concurrently tions so that applications will: be
| Whether in the Zoning Ordi- with the ZTA. submitted digitally/on-line; include
nance or concurrent legislation, reg- | DOT Streetlight and Road- proof of authorization to use the pro-
ulations are needed to keep workers/ way Standards. The standard for posed properties; and be required to
contractors, emergency responders, a Limited Use should specify incor- be resubmitted with new application
and civilians safe. On-site shut-offs porating all equipment inside an fees if determined to be incomplete
to power-down all antennas should appropriately configured DOT pole, or substantially changed after filing.
be required to protect workers and unless the provider can demonstrate However, history suggests that the
contractors who maintain private technological incompatibility. Tower Committee’s planned changes
buildings and grounds, and to DOT should also collaborate with do not always come to timely frui-
protect emergency responders and HOAs, Community Associations, tion. And much more still needs to
civilians when collisions take down Business Districts, etc., to limit the be done so that the Tower Commit-
poles with antennas in parking lots adverse impacts of DAS and small tee’s processes become fair, trans-
or along the public rights-of-ways. cell antennas and equipment in pub- more
september 2017 • 12
2017 ZTA, cont. a voice in the process. Following County wants to review this legisla-
what some other governments do, tion every three years for needed
parent, and accessible to the public. the ZTA should include a stated changes. No! Each time the County
y The ZTA undermines good hierarchy of locations for micro cell has passed a ZTA to amend antenna
planning and zoning. This ZTA towers and antennas, from “most attachments and/or cell tower legis-
seems to have been proposed for the preferred” to “least preferred.” Only lation, it has reduced protections to
benefit of the industry rather than those locations that are designated residents and property owners and
for promoting health, public safety, “most preferred” should be Limited provided benefits to the industry.
and general welfare and/or other Uses. To qualify for a lesser pre- The rationale provided for three-
stated purposes of the Zoning Ordi- ferred location, the applicant would year reviews is that manufacturers
nance. be required to demonstrate having of antennas and components “will
| The need for “most-pre- explored in good faith and found no continue to make more compact and
ferred” locations and “sensi- “most preferred” locations to satisfy robust equipment.” However, well-
tive use” designations. This ZTA the applicant’s technical require- crafted legislation is flexible and
blurs the distinctions between the ments. A lesser preferred location anticipates change. Here again, we
industrial and commercial zones review would involve public input. can borrow from other local govern-
where more intense uses are per- Some local governments also iden- ments’ legislation, and require: (1)
mitted, and the agricultural and tify sensitive uses in the lesser/least “the smallest, least visually intrusive
residential zones that permit less preferred locations. For one local antennas, components, and other
intensive uses. It has removed government, “sensitive uses means necessary equipment; and (2) “all
some standards, reduced others, any residential use, public or private reasonable means to conceal or
and eliminated access to the Con- school, day care, playground, or minimize the visual impacts of the
ditional Use review process that retirement facility.” wireless facility through integration.
provides residents with notice and | Three-year reviews. The more
september 2017 • 13
2017 ZTA, cont. needed transmission space and greater siting opportunities, and
create clutter. The ZTA can require permission to use more obtrusive
Integration with existing structures inactive antennas to be removed. facilities. And it allows these devel-
or among other existing uses shall Another solution used by some local opers carte blanche to place their
be accomplished through the use of governments is to limit the lifes- installations not where the public
architecture, landscape, and siting pan of the permits issued for wire- need is great(est), but instead where
solutions. Each application for a less communications facilities to the wireless infrastructure develop-
wireless facility is evaluated based 10 years. Permit expirations serve ers’ investment will yield the high-
on the proposed design, location, multiple purposes. Upon expiration, est return. The benefits provided
permits required, and other site- the facility must be removed, or, for to these developers diminish the
specific characteristics. Architec- the permit to be renewed, the pro- safety, property values, and enjoy-
ture, landscape, and siting solutions vider must demonstrate the facility’s ment of County neighborhoods. But
are all used in evaluating wireless compliance with regulations, includ- beyond the detriments posed to the
facility applications. Use landscape ing that it: (1) has active anten- residents, property owners, and the
architecture to improve views of the nas, (2) has technology that meets public at large, it is reasonable to ask
wireless facility as seen from the updated standards, and (3) is not a why nothing is expected from these
public right-of-way and neighboring nonconforming use (such as due to wireless infrastructure developers in
properties by screening, buffering, Spectrum Act expansions). return.
and blending wireless facility with | The Zoning Ordinance Also, the County’s June presen-
the surrounding environment.” should treat wireless infra- tation materials seem to suggest that
| The ZTA fails to address structure developers and other post-construction inspections have
the longstanding problem of developers consistently. The not been universally conducted. Ap-
getting inactive antennas re- ZTA grants added benefits to these parently, not all wireless facilities
moved. Inactive antennas occupy developers: expedited reviews, more
september 2017 • 14
2017 ZTA, cont. Planning and Land Use Committee Report
have been built in accordance with By Harriet Quinn, PLU Standing operation of these essentially unli-
the commitments to the County. Committee Chair censed hotels has grown.
Last September, when the PHED Currently, residents may rent
Committee was discussing ZTA 16- Council Public Hearing rooms in their houses or their entire
05, Councilmember George Leven- on Short-Term Rentals in dwelling for 30 days or more. Short-
thal asked what other jurisdictions Residential Zones Septem- term rentals of less than 30 days
were doing to grapple with drastic ber 12 at 7:30 p.m. are allowed in residential zones if
increases in applications to deploy On May 11 the Planning Board the property is a licensed “Bed and
wireless communication facilities. made recommendations regarding Breakfast.” Planners recommended
As is demonstrated herein, some lo- the Planning Department’s Zoning “Bed and Breakfast” remain a sepa-
cal governments are ahead of Mont- Text Amendment 16-03 which modi- rate use category in the Zoning Code
gomery County. It seems reasonable fies the ZTA that was first introduced and a new category called “acces-
to expect our County to draw upon on February 2, 2016. Their recom- sory residential use for short-term
the good work of other local govern- mendations were sent to the Council, residential rentals” would be cre-
ments. But it also seems reasonable which will hold a public hearing on ated. The Staff recommended that
to expect legislation to be infused September 12 at 7:30 p.m. This ZTA residential short-term rentals be
with our County’s expertise and would change the zoning in residen- limited to a maximum of 90 days per
creativity. We deserve better—much tial zones to allow, by right, short- year for the property. The Plan-
better—than what has been pro- term nightly rentals, which is any ning Board eliminated the 90-day
posed as the 2017 ZTA. rental less than 30 days. Examples maximum. The proposed legisla-
[Note: This article with complete of these online services are Airbnb, tion would allow for administrative
footnotes can be read online.] z Flipkey, HomeAway, and VRBO; the more
september 2017 • 15
Planning & Land Use, cont. sociations are encouraged to provide public feedback meetings on Mon-
testimony. You may sign up for the day, September 18, at 7:00 p.m. at
approval of short-term rentals if hearing here. the Silver Spring Civic Building and
the property meets certain criteria. Tuesday, September 19, at 7:00 p.m.
Since most Homeowners and Con- Update on Cell Towers in at the Montgomery College German-
dominium Associations already have Residential Zones town Campus, 20200 Observation
regulations restricting and prohibit- In 2016 the County Council Drive. Directions to the meetings
ing short term rentals, this legisla- introduced Zoning Text Amendment and parking information may be
tion primarily affects neighborhoods 16-05 that proposed revising stan- found here.
that are not “common ownership” dards and procedures for placement All of the ZTA documents and
communities that have HOA or of small cell towers in residential presentations may be found on the
condominium documentation. So zones. The proposed ZTA included Planning and Land Use Committee
if your neighborhood does not have eliminating notice and hearings for web page.
restrictions on short-term rentals, the towers. Following substantial Please see Sue Present’s review
this legislation affects you. pushback from communities, the of the latest changes to the ZTA
The proposed ZTA requires County Council sent the ZTA to the (see page 6) as well as her sugges-
notice to confronting and abut- Executive Branch for continued tions for improving the process in
ting neighbors, and allows up to public feedback. Our June MCCF her full, foot-noted article on the
six guests at a time. Although the meeting presentations were on this MCCF website. We strongly en-
property would be required to be li- very significant and important ZTA. courage representatives from civic
censed, there is no indication of how All the presentations may be found associations to attend one of the
this would be enforced, since the here on the MCCF website. two public meetings because this
companion licensing legislation is The County has now revised the legislation affects every neighbor-
not available at this time. Civic As- ZTA and will hold two additional hood. z
september 2017 • 16
Men’s Reproductive Health: Cell Phones, Sperm, Erectile Dysfunction, and Fertility
[Included from the Environmen- y Reduced sperm count, and reproductive damage,” wrote
tal Health Trust as a public service.] y Reduced sperm motility and Masood Sepehrimanesh and his col-
A 2017 analysis of more than concentration, leages in the May issue of Environ-
40,000 men in 50 countries found y Damaged sperm DNA, mental Science and Pollution Re-
a 52.4% sperm decline in men from y Altered sperm cell structure, and search. “In light of the widespread
North America, Europe, Australia, y Increased erectile dysfunction. practice of men carrying phones
and New Zealand. Environmental “Our results indicate that expo- in their pockets near their gonads,
exposures from plastics to chemicals sure to RF-EMF produces increases where exposures can exceed as-test-
to cell phone and Wi-Fi radiation are in testicular proteins in adults that ed guidelines, further study of these
likely an important reason for this are related to carcinogenic risk effects should be a high priority.”
decline. Animal studies in female
animals have found impacts to Wireless Devices and ED
ovaries and the female reproductive Cell phones have also been
system as well. linked to erectile dysfunction (ED).
Consistent evidence from experi- In a 2013 study published in the
mental research, epidemiological Central European Journal of Urol-
studies and in vitro (cells) labora- ogy, men with ED carried switched-
tory, and in vivo (animal) studies on cell phones for longer periods
shows that the radio frequency of time (average of 4.4 hours daily)
radiation exposure from wireless than men without ED (average 1.8
devices is associated with men’s hours daily).
reproductive health issues including: more
september 2017 • 17
Phones vs. Fertility, cont. 2. Choose Non-Wireless radiation.
“The epidemiological stud- For phone (landline), internet, 4. Turn It Off When Not in Use
ies of men assessed for infertility printer, and entertainment gear, You can easily decrease your
were consistent in demonstrating connect by cord or cable with all exposures by turning off wireless
decreased sperm motility associ- wireless features off. Turning off networks and devices whenever you
ated with increased use of mobile your Wi-Fi at night reduces your ex- aren’t actively using them. Remem-
phones” and “biological effects on posure significantly. However, if you ber that DECT (Digital Enhanced
sperm motility related to RF expo- have Wi-Fi on during the day (espe- Cordless Telecommunications)
sure,” stated a British Columbia Cen- cially with the router near your body home phones, wireless routers, and
tre for Disease Control 2013 Report, in your office) you could be getting gaming consoles all emit micro-
A Radiofrequency Toolkit for Envi- daily significant exposure. Installing wave radiation whether or not you
ronmental Health Practitioners. fully wired systems eliminates this are actively using a device. Gam-
source completely. ing consoles need to be completely
What Men Can Do unplugged to eliminate the radiation
1. Read the Fine Print 3. Increase Distance output.
All device manufacturers advise Keep wireless devices away from
that each device should be held at your lap! Do not place your cell 5. Practice ‘Safe Phone’
some distance away from human phone, laptop, or tablet on your lap. When you must use a mobile
bodies and brains. Turn the Power Decrease your exposure by increas- phone, put in Airplane mode/Wi-
OFF on phones, tablets, Mp3 play- ing your distance from emitting Fi OFF when not in use and use a
ers, etc., before they are placed in a sources. Remember that, even if a speaker phone, headset, or a plug-in
pants pocket, suit jacket, or tucked device is not in use, it will still emit earpiece. When you use your cell
into clothing. regular short bursts of microwave more
september 2017 • 18
Phones vs. Fertility, cont. effects. The results “demonstrated
significant effects of radio-frequen-
phone, do not rest it near your body. cy-modulated EMF exposure on the
Trade in your home cordless phone proteome.”
for a good old fashioned landline y View an interview with Dr. Hagai
with a wired handset and use that Levine on a study showing declines
more often. Remember that chil- in sperm count on “The Rundown,”
dren should not use mobile phones i24 News. [4:06]
except in emergency. y “Environmental Impact on Se-
men Quality: What is the Role of
6. Drive Safe Non-ionizing Radiation?” Lecture
Power OFF in vehicles. Mobile by Hagai Levine, M.D. [21:27]
devices distract us and a split second your exposure significantly. y “Scientific Imaging of Cell Phone
is all it takes. In terms of radiation Radiation,” Lecture Clip by Dr.
exposure, they emit higher power Some of the Research Devra Davis [0.44]
radiation during travel and the y “Proteomic Impacts of Electro-
metal surroundings create radiation magnetic Fields on the Male Re- News Articles
hotspots. If your cell phone is on, do productive System,” Comparative y “Sperm Count in Western Men
not rest your cell phone on your lap Clinical Pathology, March 2017. Has Dropped Over 50 Percent Since
while driving. Place it as far away as The study reviewed structural and 1973, Paper Finds,” New York Times
possible. functional proteomic [protein] y “Cellphone Radiation May Cause
Exposure to wireless radiation changes related to EMF exposure, Male Infertility,” Vanguard
has a cumulative effect. If you make categorized based on main affected y “Let’s Talk About Male Infertil-
these simple changes you can reduce tissue and most important adverse ity,” Toronto Star z
september 2017 • 19
Scenes from the 2017 Awards Celebration

to Jamison Adcock (holding plaque) and the Coalition
MCCF’s annual Awards Celebration was held this Against Avery Road Depot (CAARD), a grassroots coali-
year at McGinty’s Public House (above) in downtown tion formed to address the County’s efforts to relocate
Silver Spring on Thursday, June 8th. the Shady Grove school bus depot into various neighbor-
The Wayne Goldstein Award for outstanding ser- hoods. Former MCCF President Cary Lamari (second
vice to the people of Montgomery County (right) went from left) presented the award to the group. more
september 2017 • 20
Scenes from the 2017 MCCF Awards Celebration, cont.
State Rep.
Ben Kramer (be-
low) reads the
citation for The
Star Cup, which
was awarded to
Jim Zepp (right,
with wife Carole

The Sentinel Award, sponsored by the Mont-
gomery Sentinel newspaper, was awarded to the
Coalition of Bethesda Area Residents (CBAR) for
their successful efforts to collaborate with the
various neighborhoods in and around Bethesda Barth), our current President and
to form a common vision for a vibrant down- Public Safety Committee Chair.
town Bethesda surrounded by livable communi- Jim is also a member of the MCCF
ties. CBAR was founded by Mary Flynn (holding Transportation Cmte. and previous-
plaque). Marc Elrich, at-large member of the ly served as MCCF First and Second
County Council (center), presented the award. Vice President. z
september 2017 • 21
New MCCF Membership Year Began July 1
Our new membership year began on July 1. Dele-
gates are asked to verify that their treasurers have sent in
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR POSSIBLE the Membership Form with a check for the association’s
TOPICS OR SPEAKERS FOR YOUR dues. The Membership Form can be found here on the
Many civic, neighborhood, and homeowners associa-
Members of the MCCF Executive Committee tions elect new officers or boards during the summer or
have extensive experience in issues such as autumn. Please remember to provide updated contact
information to those who need to be able to reach you.
transportation, land use and zoning, schools, Check to be sure that the Montgomery County Planning
parks, environmental concerns, taxes and Department has your updated data for their mailing list;
public spending, and setting up websites and use their HOA/CA Updater Tool online here to check and
newsletters. Plus, they have a community- correct your group’s contact information.
oriented perspective on these matters. If you If you have changes during the year after sending in
would like an executive committee member your MCCF renewal form, email your changes and cor-
rections at any time to mccivicfed at gmail dot com.
to speak at a meeting, contact President Jim
If you’d like to get more involved with the MCCF,
Zepp at president at montgomerycivic dot org. we’re looking for a Recording Secretary and chairs for
Please let him know what topics and our Education and Legislation standing committees.
possible dates that you are interested in and (See our current officers list.)
where and when the meetings are held. Thank you for your continued support and participa-
tion. We look forward to working with you this year. z
september 2017 • 22
$5,000 Tax Credit for Student Debt (Apply by 9/15/17!)
Have you (or do you know
someone who has) incurred at least
year’s taxes. The tax credit is also
available in future years.
$20,000 in undergraduate student There are $5 million of tax The Civic Federation News is published
loan debt and have at least $5,000 credits available. Priority will be monthly except July and August by the
in outstanding undergraduate given to those with the highest ratio Montgomery County Civic Federation,
Inc. It is emailed to delegates, associate
student loan debt remaining? If so of student debt to gross income and
members, news media, and local, state,
you are eligible for a tax credit of then to those who graduated from and federal officials. Recipients are
up to $5,000 on your 2017 personal Maryland institutions. encouraged to forward the Civic Federa-
income tax! You can find out more about the tion News to all association members,
As a result of legislation passed tax credit and get an application friends, and neighbors. Permission is
by the Maryland General Assembly, form by going to mhec.maryland. granted to reproduce any article, pro-
there is a new tax credit available for gov/preparing/Pages/Student- vided that proper credit is given to the
Maryland residents. LoanDebtReliefTaxCredit.aspx. “Civic Federation News of the Mont-
gomery County (Md.) Civic Federation.”
The only requirements are: If you do not yourself have
y Incurred at least $20,000 in to- student debt, pass the word to your Submit contributions for the next
tal undergraduate student loan debt; friends and relatives. z issue by the 26th of the current
y Have at least $5,000 in out- month. Send to CFN at civicfednews
standing student loan debt during AT mont
Montgomery County Civic Federation
the tax year for which you are apply-
ing. Send all address corrections to
info AT
membership AT
The deadline is September 15 to Twitter Feed @mccivicfed
be eligible to receive a credit on this MCCF Facebook Page view past issues online here